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Duke Energy awards $195,000 to Asheville-Buncombe Tech

April 16, 2014

Highland Brewing Founder Oscar Wong with Lee McElrath of PSNC Energy tour the A-B Tech CBI facilities.A-B Tech received a $195,000 grant from Duke Energy Foundation.

Duke Energy and A-B Tech Community College announced a $195,000 investment from the Duke Energy Foundation.

The funds will be used to further develop A-B Tech’s Craft Beverage Institute of the Southeast by leveraging funds to purchase a seven-barrel brewhouse, a distillation system, wine making system and sensory lab.

 “The college is dedicated to meeting the region’s demand for workforce training and business development in the booming craft beverage industry,” said Dennis King, A-B Tech’s interim president. “The overall goal of the Craft Beverage Institute is to create workforce capacity, support existing industry, and help attract new business. “

Located at A-B Tech in Enka, the institute will provide entry- and enterprise-level training, business development, and quality control testing in the craft beverage industry sectors of brewing, distillation, viticulture and natural products, including degree and continuing education options. 

“We also expect there to be a craft beverage ‘bloom’ effect that spills into other related industries, including hospitality and ecotourism, value-added foods, agriculture, sustainability and other beverage-related sectors,” said Scott Adams, director of the institute. 

“Our partnership with A-B Tech Community College develops a specialized, highly skilled workforce that will attract and retain craft beverage businesses in the region for years to come,” said Paul Newton, Duke Energy’s state president – North Carolina.

This grant is part of Duke Energy’s $6.7 million investment in North Carolina Community Colleges’ focus on technical education and support of business and industry. Since 2004, Duke Energy has awarded $15 million in grants to 24 community colleges within the Duke Energy Carolinas service area. This new $6.7 million investment also includes community colleges located in the Duke Energy Progress service area.

Individual community colleges can apply for funds through the NC Community Foundation. Applications will be reviewed by a committee of representatives from Duke Energy, NC Community College System and NC Department of Commerce.

About A-B Tech Community College

One of 58 colleges in the North Carolina Community College System, A-B Tech offers associate degrees, diplomas or certificates in more than 50 curriculum programs through its five academic divisions – Allied Health and Public Service Education, Arts and Sciences, Business and Hospitality Education, Emergency Services and Engineering and Applied Technology. The Division of Economic and Workforce Development/Continuing Education offers opportunities for specific job training and retraining and personal enrichment classes. A-B Tech enrolls nearly 27,000 curriculum and continuing education students annually. For more information, visit abtech.edu

About Duke Energy Foundation

Duke Energy Foundation makes charitable investments on behalf of Duke Energy, the largest electric power holding company in the United States with 7.2 million customers in six states. Over the foundation’s long history in local communities, it has identified focus areas that maximize the foundation’s dollars and guide the foundation’s giving. The foundation makes grants supporting the environment, economic development, education and community vitality. In North Carolina, Duke Energy Foundation invests $16 million annually for community support and charitable contributions. To learn more about Duke Energy Foundation, visit www.duke-energy.com/community/.   

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If you have an A-B Tech-related news tip or if you are a member of the news media who needs information about A-B Tech, contact the Community Relations and Marketing Director at 398-7117.

Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate degrees, diplomas and certificates.  Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College.

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